Mafiosi is a cook’s dream — no more trawling online to find the nearest place that sells Tipo “00” flour — but if you prefer to have your food served to you, rather than preparing it yourself, there’s also plenty to tempt you on the restaurant side of things.
We started off with the Bruschette Tricolore — topped with basil pesto, the most divine mozarella cheese, and fresh tomato — and zucchini fries. The latter were recommended by the delightfully named Grazie Melle — Cristian’s cousin, who used to work at his restaurant in Rome — and my friend and I were very pleased we’d followed her suggestion. The fries were light, with just enough batter to provide a crispy complement to the zucchini, without overwhelming its delicate flavour.
For mains, we stuck to our theme and sampled the Pasta Tricolore, a trio of dishes featuring traditional Napoletana sauce, classic basil pesto, and more-ish cheese and walnuts with a touch of nutmeg — all served with the pasta or gnocchi of your choice. The gnocchi were perfect — not too chewy — and the selection of toppings served as a great introduction to Mafiosi’s authentic, Italian home-style menu. Next time we intend to sample the Carbonara. According to Cristian, a lot of cooks use pancetta or bacon in this dish, but Mafiosi opts for the traditional guanciale. Adding cream, as some chefs tend to do, is also a no-no. “I think there is no big secret,” Cristian says. “The only secret is to make fresh food.”